Initiative gets pupils ‘scoot and aboot’

Primary 4 pupils are scoot and aboot at Woodhill with acting principal teacher Allison Kelly, Councillor Alan Moir, class teacher Lisa Horn and Donald Macdonald.
Primary 4 pupils are scoot and aboot at Woodhill with acting principal teacher Allison Kelly, Councillor Alan Moir, class teacher Lisa Horn and Donald Macdonald.

Energetic youngsters at Dunbartonshire schools have been putting their foot down for active travel - by using scooters as part of their lessons.

National charity Sustrans has been working with East Dunbartonshire Council to encourage pupils at Woodhill Primary to complete the Daily Mile - a nationwide challenge aimed at inspiring young people to get more active.

The pilot scheme saw a fleet of scooters and helmets, supplied by Sustrans, to give P3, P4 and P5 pupils the chance to get fitter and have fun. There are now plans for older pupils to get involved.

Harestanes Primary, Meadowburn Primary, St Ninian’s High and Turnbull High are also using scooters to get more active, as part of the Daily Mile challenge and PE lessons.

The work complements the council’s Active Travel Strategy which promotes projects making it easier to walk and cycle, as well as encouraging the use of public transport.

Phase 4 of the Bishopbriggs Relief Road is due to be completed in the summer and will see the existing Westerhill Road and bridge become an active travel corridor for pedestrians and cyclists.

Councillor Alan Moir, development and regeneration convener, visited Woodhill Primary recently to see the scooters in action.

He said: “I think this is a terrific way to inspire youngsters to get fit, have fun and put their foot down as they complete their Daily Mile and PE lessons.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to travel sustainably - reducing the number of vehicles on our roads, and improving health and wellbeing.”

Donald Macdonald, Sustrans schools officer for Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch and Lenzie, said that using scooters helps to boost pupils’ cognitive skills, balance and personal qualities, in addition to improving physical fitness.

He continued: “You can see the young people really love getting out and about in the fresh air - developing their skills and learning as well. We’re delighted the scooters have proven so popular.”

Sustrans has forged a strong relationship with local schools and Woodhill in particular, with all pupils now able to ride a bike.